Caribbean demands reparations for transatlantic slave trade atrocities

P J Patterson


At the second Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Conference on Reparations which began on Sunday night in St. Johns, Antigua and ends today, reparations activists and political leaders called for justice for the Caribbean region which still suffers from the social and economic effects of the transatlantic slave trade.

The theme the regional conference, convened by the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), is "An Expert Conference on Caribbean Reparations: Scientific Engagement and Community Mobilization."

Its aim is to intensify discussions regarding the CRC's 10-point plan on reparatory justice adopted by Caricom leaders at their Inter-Sessional summit in St Vincent and the Grenadines last March.

Former Jamaican prime minister P. J. Patterson implored the gathering, "to see ourselves as working towards one aim, one destiny -- the search for justice and repair of our societies; societies which were disfigured by colonization; societies that continue to suffer the legacies of enslavement and native genocide."

Patterson said:

"We need all hands on deck, wherever we are located in the west, in the north, in the east, because the tentacles of colonial injustices were spread far and wide and their legacies continue to be far-reaching to this very day.


"The masses of Caribbean people are still to be brought on board the reparation train. They are stuck at the halts and stations all around the region and indeed in the Diaspora, waiting for reason to board. If we do not wish to have them waiting indefinitely on the platform, or worse boarding the wrong train, we need to use this forum to settle all the unanswered questions around the struggle for reparatory justice."

Patterson was joined by other leaders and activists including University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles, and Dr Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey, who also spoke at the three-day event.

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